Zanu PF politburo rewrites draft constitution

August 15, 2012 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

Faith Zaba

THE Zanu PF politburo is now virtually rewriting the controversial Copac
draft constitution in its own image by overhauling chapters and clauses
which it objects to, mainly in a bid to restore curtailed sweeping
presidential powers President Robert Mugabe currently enjoys ahead of
elections.
The politburo met again on Wednesday for the fourth time in three weeks,
bringing the time it has now spent on the draft to about 42 hours, showing
the draft is virtually being re-written.
The Wednesday meeting started at 1:30pm and ended at dawn, around 4:30am on
Thursday, but the taxing scrutiny of the draft failed to conclude the
matter. Zanu PF is expected to meet again over the issue. Mugabe attended
the 15-hour meeting which started on Wednesday and ended at dawn on
Thursday.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said on Thursday the politburo was likely
to meet again next week on Thursday after the Heroes and Defence Forces
holidays to fine-tune amendments it wants to make to the draft.
“We had a good meeting. It was very robust and we have now incorporated
people’s views that were not captured that should be reflected in the
draft,” he said.
Asked which sections Zanu PF was unilaterally amending, Gumbo said: “We
looked from the preamble through founding principles to the end. We are
happy now. We have more or less finished our draft; it only needs to be
cleaned. We will meet next week around Thursday to finalise and we will give
you copies of our draft when we are done and I am sure everyone will be
happy with it.”
Zanu PF politburo members have been gagged over the issue to safeguard the
process which is certain to cause a political storm in weeks and months
ahead.
Senior politburo members have a different interpretation of the politburo
effort. Some see it as a genuine attempt to improve the draft constitution
which they feel was personalised by those trying to oust Mugabe, while
others say it is simply a campaign to restore presidential powers whittled
down in the draft to avoid defeat in the next elections.
After the draft was released on July 18, Zanu PF initially met on July 25
for four hours where the draft was tabled. The party followed that with a
politburo meeting on Friday July 27 which lasted from 1pm to 2:30am on
Saturday, July 28. Another meeting was held on August 1 for about 12 hours.
It started on Wednesday afternoon and ended in the early hours of Thursday
last week.
The meeting on Wednesday lasted for almost 15 hours, from 1:30pm to about
4:30am early on Thursday morning.

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